Janice Allred, a Mormon feminist, in the Mar 2012 Sunstone writes:
“Is Heavenly Mother a member of the Godhead?” is the crucial question. Is she God the Mother or simply our Mother in Heaven? To answer this question it is, indeed, necessary to address the issues of her cosmic authority and status of worship. There are three impediments that prevent Mormon theologians who want to remain mainstream from honestly addressing these issues and developing a theology of God the Mother.
The first is the issue of priesthood. Priesthood is central to Mormon theology. It is the power through which God creates and governs all things. . .
The second impediment is President Hinckley’s 1991 speech, given in the general Relief Society meeting, in which he directs Church members not to pray to the Mother in Heaven. . .
The third impediment to developing a theology of God the Mother is the Church’s 1995 Proclamation on the Family. I see this document as an attempt by the Church leadership to publish an authoritative text which establishes a patriarchical cosmos with rigid, eternal gender roles . . .
The issue of a Mother in Heaven would seem to have direct bearing on the Plan of Salvation and eternal progression as it relates to women. For men, the ultimate goal of eternity is deification. But what about women? Is this possible without the priesthood? Do women become godlike only through their spouses? What is the role of women in the hereafter?